PHOTO: MÁRIO CRUZ/LUSA

Lisbon and Braga held back in Portugal’s emergence from lockdown

Lisbon, Braga, Odemira and Vale de Cambra are not moving forward to the next phase of Portugal’s emergence from lockdown, the Portuguese government confirmed on Wednesday afternoon.

There are also 10 municipalities that will remain on “alert”: Albufeira and Loulé in the Algarve, as well as Alcanena, Arruda dos Vinhos, Cascais, Paredes de Coira, Santarém, Sertã, Sesimbra and Sintra.

Portugal’s State of Calamity will also be extended until June 27, while some changes are being implemented.

Teleworking (or working from home) is no longer mandatory in most of Portugal except for the four boroughs which are being held back.

Cultural venues are also being allowed to stay open until 1am across the country, once again excluding Lisbon, Braga, Odemira and Vale de Cambra.

Mariana Vieira da Silva, Minister of State and Presidency, said that the goal is to ensure that everyone attending a cultural event is tested for Covid-19 beforehand. She added that the costs should be covered by event organisers.

Workplaces with over 150 employees are also due to start being required to carry out tests, while people attending sports events, weddings and baptisms will also be required to undergo a test if attendance surpasses a certain number, so far unannounced.

Meanwhile, the mayors of Lisbon and Braga have admitted they are not surprised by this afternoon’s announcement.

As Lisbon mayor Fernando Medina pointed out, the number of cases in the capital has exceeded 120 per 100,000 inhabitants, a situation which “is not easy” as cases continue to rise albeit at a slower rate.

Meanwhile in Braga, mayor Ricardo Rio said he already expected that the town would be held back, given that there has been a daily average of 20 new cases and around 170 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com